This film is part of Free

Half the Battle's Won

An early example of integrating people with learning difficulties at a time when ideas of normalisation and community care were emerging.

Documentary 1980 26 mins Not rated


From the collection of:

Logo for North East Film Archive


This Tyne Tees TV film is the earliest of three documentaries about the Botton Camphill community in North Yorkshire, made over a 30-year period. It makes for an interesting comparison with the later two: more paternalistic, with little film of residents with special needs at work or in the community, and no interviews with them. Instead it focuses on the events around their silver jubilee and interviews with the parents of those residents and with their co-workers.

Botton Village grew from a former estate with three farms in 1955, the first of the Camphill communities based on the principles of Rudolph Steiner. By the time this film was made, four others had emerged. As well as the village community, a Steiner school was also founded there in 1960. It is unclear from the documentary however, just how much the Village actually was, or is, run according to the controversial views of Rudolph Steiner.